Red Door Thrift Store Opening in Sanford

The Red Door Thrift Store in Clare is opening a second store in Sanford on Friday.

The grand opening will be at 369 W. Saginaw Road from 10 a.m.-noon. A ribbon cutting ceremony with U.S Congressman John Moolenaar, Sen. Jim Stamas, Rep. Gary Glenn and a representative from Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office will take place at 10:30 a.m. with light refreshments and many in-store sales offered to those in attendance.

In Clare, the Red Door will host a Re-Grand Opening at 1006 N. McEwan with an all day sale and special music from 2-4 p.m. featuring Jonathan and Jasmine Harper. To continue the celebration, both stores will be hosting a series of “customer appreciation sales” for shoppers looking for the best deal at the best price.

For years, Joshua’s House has worked diligently hosting fundraisers to maintain the operating costs for the maternity home located in Clare. The board, staff and volunteers have been working toward having two stores that would help to support the shelter, as doing many fundraisers has a tendency to wear on those faithful helpers. Eventually, the goal is to operate six maternity home shelters throughout the state of Michigan. Each shelter location would ideally have two thrift stores to assist in supporting that local shelter.

“This aids in offering a service to the community and an economical boost providing local jobs as well as providing a great shopping experience and support for an important cause,” a spokesperson said. “Helping those who are hurting and in need always comes at a cost.”

“It is an honor for us to serve those that are so desperate for someone to reach out and help them when things are looking so grim. We can make a difference, each one of us can make a difference if we try,” added board member Sherry Combs.

Pictured above are: Pat Wortley (Sanford Chamber), Pastor Kevin Tippin (Church of God) Rene’e Jeffords Executive Director-Joshua’s House Shelter & Red Door, U.S. Congressman John Moolenaar, Sherry Combs (Board Member- Joshua’s House), Senator Jim Stamas, Mike Goschka (State Rep. Gary Glenn’s Office)

Home Depot supports Joshua's House

Home Depot in Mount Pleasant recently presented Joshua’s House in Clare with tables of clothing, quilts, toys and accessories for babies and toddlers to receive for Christmas.

Four tables and four chairs were loaded with items donated by Team Depot (employees of the Mount Pleasant location) to assist Joshua’s House with supplying gifts to residents and former residents of the shelter and also other families in the area experiencing difficult times during the Christmas season.

Team Depot is headed by Joanne Rau (second from the right). Representing Joshua’s House is Board Member Paula Ackerman (far left) and Executive Director Rene’e Jeffords (next to Paula).

Joshua's House is located in Clare and is a maternity home where women receive guidance, spiritual and emotional support, along with instructional opportunities that assist them in successfully caring for themselves and their newborn infant.

Run for Life benefits Joshua's House

Shamrock Park in Clare will be the setting for the 2015 Run for Life event hosted by Joshua’s House on Saturday.

The shelter, which houses women who are homeless and expecting a child, also cares for other community residents who find themselves without a place to call home.

Funds raised during this year’s event will assist in renovating the new education center that is located in the lower portion of the facility.

The education center will allow the shelter to enhance the classes currently offered to the residents and open the classes to residents within the community who have an interest in developing their skills and increasing their understanding of finances, resume writing, interviewing, cooking, baking, child development, canning, dehydrating food and more.

Runners may pre-register for the race by visiting Volunteers for race day are still needed to assist with small tasks; for further information, call (989) 424-5434. Race day registration for the 5K, 10K event will begin at 8 a.m. under the smaller pavilion at Shamrock Park positioned behind the Clare VFW Hall located at 145 Wilcox Parkway in Clare. Concessions will also open at 8 a.m. and the race will begin at 9 a.m.

Clare CROP Walkers Celebrate 30th Year

Forty-six walkers and volunteers celebrated 30 years of raising funds to help hungry people at the recent Clare County CROP Walk.

Paul Robb, master of ceremonies, thanked everyone for coming. Eleven teams were recognized and cheered in turn. Individuals, churches, organizations and families were represented at the walk.

Renee Jeffords was presented a certificate as grand marshal in appreciation of her years of service to Clare County, especially in the establishment of Joshua’s House, a shelter for women homeless and pregnant.

Doherty Hotel gift certificates for two were presented to Jeffords. In addition, Jeffords received gift certificates for $75 from ValuLand to purchase grocery articles for Joshua’s House.

The three-mile walk around the east side of Clare started and ended at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, where walkers enjoyed more food, awards and drawings. More than $10,300 was raised in the walk.

Melnek Donates Property to Joshua's

Joshua’s House Maternity Home will be moving to Clare due to the generosity of June Melnek of Farwell. June and her late husband Charles have owned the property located at the corner where fourth and fifth street meet for over fifty years. Residing in the upper level, they operated Point Clare Restaurant on the lower level and for the last several years, it has been an interesting collect- tion of different establishments. Joshua’s House is a 501C(3) non-profit organization that is NOT owned by any one person, however it is operated by a group of volunteers, an Administrative Board consisting of Chairman/Executive Director Rene’e Jeffords, Vice-Chairman Angela Isaac, Executive Secretary Sherry Combs and Executive Treasurer Patricia Marinello, as well as an Advisory Board consisting of Dr. David Bremer, Loretta Wishmeyer, Lisa Card, Kimberly Spalla and Pastor Gary Insley.

“We are ever grateful to the Melnek family for their generosity toward our organization, this truly is an answer to much prayer!” stated Jeffords. “I was totally in shock when I received the phone call from June’s daughter Linda Holton, expressing her desire to donate the building. I was speechless and thrilled all at the same time” Jeffords remarked. This new location will allow the maternity home to care for up to seven women at a time, while utilizing the lower level as an education center. Few renovations are needed prior to the maternity home moving to the new location, however when the remodeling begins for the education center, the help of many volunteers and materials will be necessary. For more information on Joshua’s House or to donate, call (989) 424-5434.

Hats Off To Benchley Bros!

Benchley Brothers GMC dealership in Clare has been a significant part of this community since 1972. They have supported many fundraisers and community activities in the area simply because of their compassion for others and a desire to make a difference. On Thursday, July 22nd once again, Jim Benchley came to the aid of a local organization. Arming himself with a huge smile and a shiny set of vehicle keys, Jim made a donation to Joshua’s House Maternity Home. “What a blessing it was to receive a phone call from a long time customer of the Benchley’s notifying us that the dealership was donating a vehicle to our organization. This donation will assist us in transporting our expectant mothers to and from their doctors visits and required destinations in order to care for their health and the health of their unborn babies,” Said Executive Director Rene’e Jeffords. “We couldn’t be happier with their generosity, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.” Joshua’s House had been utilizing vehicles that were privately owned by volunteers working for Joshua’s House. Some of the vehicles are very old and on their “last leg” and soon would be quite costly to repair. “Safety is always first with us and now this is just one less concern that we have to keep an eye on” said Jeffords. “How wonderful it is to have a group of people like the Benchley family of employees to want to help as you care for those in our community that are in need.” The staff and residents of Joshua’s House are extremely thankful for this generous effort of support.

Joshua’s House Fundraiser Successful

Just over 80 people attended and approximately $2,000 was raised October 23 at the dinner and silent auction held for the new Joshua’s House at Mid Michigan Community College. Another $2,000, earmarked for “capacity building” or training for maternal staff and administration, was presented to the organization from the Clare County Enterprise Community. Shown here Jerome Burger, CCEC Executive Director presents the $2,000 check to Renee Jeffords founder of Joshua’s House. On the right is Sharon Bidigare, president of the CCEC. “It went really well,” said Jeffords. She said the funds raised by the dinner, silent auction and offering will be used towards the down payment for a location for the organization, which will offer a temporary home, classes and medical services for pregnant young adults.

Warriors of Light Benefit Ride

On August 15, 2009, the Warriors of the Light, Christian Motorcyclists Association,  Chapter 580, of Mt. Pleasant Michigan, held a Motorcycle Benefit Ride to raise money in support of Joshua’s House, a Maternity Home, that is raising funds in support of  purchasing a facility to have the home in.   The ride began in Shamrock Park in Clare. There were 29 motorcycles and 44 total participants in this event.  The ride was approximately70 miles and toured through parts of Clare, Isabella, Midland and Gladwin Counties, ending back in Shamrock Park in Clare, where there was food for all participants. Door prize tickets were drawn as the crowd ate and prizes were awarded to all in attendance.

Donations of items came from the following area business and individuals: Fran Sizemore (from West Branch chapter - doilies), Steve's Country Market, Harrison, Central Motor Sports, Mt. Pleasant, Lil' Chef Restaurant, Mt. Pleasant, Express Lube, Clare, Heritage Automall, Mt. Pleasant, Shaheens, Mt. Pleasant, Ponderosa, Mt. Pleasant, Clare Big Boy, Clare, American Cleaners, Clare, Coffee Talk 505, Clare, Hungry Howies, Clare, Buccilli's Pizza, Clare, Dagwoods Auto Repair Clare, Crankers, Mt. Pleasant, Meijer's, Mt. Pleasant, Glen's Market, Clare, Kroger Store, Mt. Pleasant, Divine Power and Crank, Shepherd, Gordon Food Service, Mt. Pleasant, Kay & Jim LaMay, DuCharme’s Country Store, Farwell.

The amount raised from this event was just slightly over $700.00 and was presented to Joshua’s House President Renee Jeffords by the Warriors of the Light Chapter President Donna LaMay. Our thanks to one and all that helped and participated in this event, we hope to make this an annual Benefit Ride for the on going expenses of Joshua’s House.

American Legion Contributes to Joshua's House

On August 7th, the Clare-Farwell American Legion Post 558 contributed to the support of Joshua’s House, a non-profit organization designed to meet the needs of pregnant women choosing to preserve life. Pictured is Post Commander, Bill Zastrow presenting a check for $500.00 to Renee Jeffords, Executive Director of Joshua’s House.

Joshua’s House to open in Clare

By Pat Maurer
Review Correspondent

The culmination of six years of planning and development, Joshua’s House, a new home for expectant mothers, may be open as soon as Thanksgiving, said founder Reneé Jeffords of Farwell.

Supported by State and local Right to Life organizations, service organizations, area doctors, churches and pastoral associations in Clare, Harrison, Farwell, Roscommon, Houghton Lake, Gladwin, Mt. Pleasant and Midland, Clare’s new Joshua’s House is becoming a reality.

Joshua’s House was named for the Bible verse, Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

The new brochure says, “Our maternity home is a safe family environment that has a full-time caring staff to support a woman’s choice to carry her baby to full term.”

A tentative location near downtown Clare has been found, with a property purchase offer made on the former Doherty home, although the purchase is not yet final. Clare was selected “for the first of its kind in the center of Michigan, serving all women equally,” Jeffords said.

It is ready, Jeffords continued. Joshua’s House now has its 501-30 non-profit status and is governed by a three-member board.

Funding will come from donations, funds pledged by private citizens, churches and organizations, and from fundraisers, speaking engagements to raise funds and grants.

Jeffords called the home an alternative for abortion, providing a “loving home … in a Christ-like atmosphere.”

Mothers-to-be who have few other options will be able come to the non-denominational home and stay free, with only a charge for some groceries, in the facility throughout their pregnancy and for up to 12 weeks after the delivery of a baby. Residents will be assisted in planning for a place to live after their stay. “Some will come to deliver and raise their child and some will deliver and allow the baby to be adopted,” Jeffords said. “We won’t make that decision, but we will support the mother’s decision.

“Ideally we would like to have expectant mothers come to the home by their fifth month of pregnancy,” Jeffords said.

A stay at Joshua’s House will include ongoing weekly Bible study, financial classes by H & R Block on budgeting, child parenting classes, relationship restoration classes that teach forgiveness and accepting responsibility for a relationship gone bad, and business, resume and interview skills to help prepare for the workplace.

A full-time House Mother and House Father will be part of the staff. Jeffords, an licensed minister, will conduct the Bible Study. Lisa Card and staff from H&R Block will handle financial classes and Onita Oles, a professor from Central Michigan University, will teach the business skills classes.
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